Pablo Picasso - Editions & Works on Paper New York Tuesday, October 24, 2023 | Phillips

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  • “They lived in a world of his own creation where he reigned almost as a king yet cherished only two treasures – freedom to work and the love of Jacqueline” 1
    Pablo Picasso began using the linocut print process in the late 1950s, sixty years after the publication of his first etching. Picasso took inspiration from the masters of European painting, reimagining past traditions and exploring their timeless themes with modern techniques. He interpreted common imagery from artists like Manet, Degas, Goya, and the Old Masters like Cranach and Rembrandt. Using the rich printmaking medium of linocut, he re-explored portraits of women, the reclining female nude, the bullfight, elaborate still lifes, and most notably his second wife and muse Jacqueline Picasso née Roque. Photojournalist and friend to the artist, David Douglas Duncan, noted in his book Picasso and Jacqueline that Jacqueline never sat and posed for Picasso, but rather he observed her movements and styles in their daily life, giving him the ability to emanate her beauty and grace in his art. Jacqueline continued to make appearances in Picasso’s prints, ceramics, and paintings until his death in 1973; his adoration for her is evident in all his works.

    “Jacqueline’s gift to Pablo – after her total love – seemed to be tranquility” 2

    Assisted by printer Hidalgo Arnéra in the South of France, Picasso reworked iconic masterpieces in linocut. The two began working together while creating annual posters for bullfights and ceramic expositions in Vallauris in the late 1930s and early 40s. The two solidified their partnership in 1958 when Picasso relocated to the South of France. Picasso was fascinated by linocut and its immediacy; the ability to carve a sheet of linoleum and have a print soon after. Art historian Donald H. Karshan remarked “The linocut was considered too limited, too unsophisticated a method to be used by mature artists… Until a fortuitous combination of circumstances, and the ravenous aesthetic appetite of Pablo Picasso, turned this innocent technique into an innovation of the first magnitude.”3 With the use of the linocut, Picasso regained control of his artistic process no longer stymied by the delays of sending etching plates to Paris to proof. Together, Picasso and Arnéra completed over a hundred linocut prints during their decade of collaboration, only ceasing so Picasso could begin his monumental and infamous ‘347’ print series with the Crommelynck brothers.


    In this work, Jacqueline au Chapeau à Fleurs II, we see the signature ‘reduction’ technique invented by Picasso during this period of intense collaboration. Instead of carving a block for each color he intended to print, the artist would cut and use one block for the entire edition, carving the linoleum as new colors were added to the print, building up to a final image. He started with the lightest colors and finished with the darkest giving the print depth, texture, and fluidity. This technique became the preference of Picasso. “He discovered that by printing in strong colors from the same block, after cutting away the unwanted parts, he could overprint more economically and obtain a density of color and texture which gave entirely new possibilities to the process.”4


    Jacqueline au Chapeau à Fleurs II presents an exceptional example from this period as Picasso has unusually combined two blocks with the reduction technique: one for the face and a second for the ornate, peripheral pattern. Allowing for added complexity, bold, colorful layers of ink comprise this striking portrait of his muse. Intertwining his signature Cubist and Surrealist styles, Jaqueline’s features are delineated through an interplay of geometric angles and sweeping curves. Her ornate hat is abundantly layered with delicate flowers, flourishing amidst the baby blue fabric. In dialogue with historic portraiture, the second block acts as a gilded frame. Picasso sought to elevate the print to the status of a master painting, presenting Jacqueline as a dignified and aristocratic figure. As such, this work exemplifies Picasso’s interest in transforming 16th century masters into abstract and elaborate modern pieces.



    1 David Douglas Duncan, Picasso and Jacqueline, 1988, p. 9

    2 Donald H. Karshan, Picasso Linocuts 1958-1963, 1968, p. 50

    3 Donald H. Karshan, Picasso Linocuts 1958-1963, 1968, p. VII

    4 Roland Penrose, Picasso: His Life and Work, in Pablo Picasso Experiments in Linogravure, 1981, p. 35

    • Provenance

      Henri M. Petiet ink stamp on the reverse (Lugt 5031)
      Sotheby's, New York, Old Master, 19th and 20th Century Prints, May 1, 1998, lot 625
      Private Collection, Vancouver
      Heffel, Vancouver, International Graphics, October 31, 2019, lot 131
      Private California Collection

    • Literature

      Georges Bloch 1149
      Brigitte Baer 1304

    • Artist Biography

      Pablo Picasso

      Spanish • 1881 - 1973

      One of the most dominant and influential artists of the 20th century, Pablo Picasso was a master of endless reinvention. While significantly contributing to the movements of Surrealism, Neoclassicism and Expressionism, he is best known for pioneering the groundbreaking movement of Cubism alongside fellow artist Georges Braque in the 1910s. In his practice, he drew on African and Iberian visual culture as well as the developments in the fast-changing world around him.

      Throughout his long and prolific career, the Spanish-born artist consistently pushed the boundaries of art to new extremes. Picasso's oeuvre is famously characterized by a radical diversity of styles, ranging from his early forays in Cubism to his Classical Period and his later more gestural expressionist work, and a diverse array of media including printmaking, drawing, ceramics and sculpture as well as theater sets and costumes designs. 

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Jacqueline au chapeau à fleurs. II (Jacqueline in a Flowered Hat. II) (Bl. 1149, Ba. 1304)

Linocut in colors, on Arches paper, with full margins.
I. 21 x 15 3/4 in. (53.3 x 40 cm)
S. 24 3/4 x 17 1/2 in. (62.9 x 44.5 cm)

Signed and numbered 35/50 in pencil (there were also 20 artist's proofs), published by Galerie Louise Leiris, Paris, 1963, framed.

Full Cataloguing

$60,000 - 80,000 

Sold for $107,950

Contact Specialist
212 940 1220

Editions & Works on Paper

New York Auction 24-26 October 2023